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Grants Awarded

Amplifying Incarcerated Writers

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $300,000
Impact Area Arts and Culture, Equity and Justice
Years Funded 2023-2025

For more than a century, PEN America (PEN) has promoted freedom of expression and defended the rights of writers and journalists based in the US. This grant provides support for PEN’s programs to amplify the work of incarcerated writers in the US. In prison, the program will provide incarcerated writers with expanded mentorship opportunities, training and other resources to help them navigate the publishing process and earn income from their writing. Outside of prison, PEN will partner with Foundation grantee partner Zealous to form a new Incarcerated Writers Bureau that will connect people who are incarcerated and returning citizens with literary professionals, agents and publishers. The program will also work closely with universities and colleges to provide mentorship opportunities to students and to incorporate prison writing into their curriculums, as well as collaborate with bookstores, libraries and community centers to host writing workshops and events that connect incarcerated writers with the broader community.